Well, the FMDAC finally woke up from its winter’s sleep and made three startling announcements. (1)They are having a get-together in October (what a surprise), (2) they need money (what else is new), and (3) that the prez and vice-prez, would be on the American Digger’s Relic Roundup show, Monday (their yearly public appearance to announce their event and tell everyone they are really alive) .
So after reading this I went to the Relic Roundup archives, and listened to the show, to see what they had to say. The answer? Nothing. Nothing at all. Just more of the same ole, “we’re having an event”,“too much apathy outthere”,“we have day jobs and other obligations”, and “we can’t tackle problems if we don’t know about them”. Thinking maybe they should make these comments part of a FAQ link on their web page…
Not too long into the show, Avery Marder, president of the Task Force, the other national group (and I use to that term lightly) called in and made an overture to the FMDAC, to meet and perhaps join forces (whatever that means). Well that wasn’t exactly received with open arms, but no surprise there. Both factions kind of mumbled this and that, and no firm date was set, only that “perhaps” they could do it at the FMDAC’s newly announced event in Gettysburg. Well I have an idea….how about June of 2020? That way you will have time to figure it all out?
Yes I know I am being overly harsh and sarcastic with my comments, but I just don’t get what is so difficult about two organizations, who continually find it hard to stay in touch with their members for months at a time, getting together? The principals involved don’t live that far apart, and jeezus, have you not heard about Skype or any of the similar “meeting” programs out there? Willing to bet as well that you could get a manufacturer to pay whatever fees are involved….
Early in the podcast when the FMDAC was asked about their membership numbers, the prez avoided answering, saying only that January was membership renewal time and no firm numbers were available. Hmm, isn’t it March now? My guess is the number would have been embarrassing. 34 clubs is a far cry from the 100 or so back in the early years.
As for apathy…..of course there’s apathy out there. Has been for years. The detectorist is typically a “give me” guy, and asking them to contribute anything else is like pulling teeth. Then again, they’ve hardly been given anything to excite them for years. Just maybe the FMDAC and Task Force need to think about marketing themselves. You know, give tekkies a reason to want to belong, and to want to help. A few suggestions….
Be constantly visible, via your website(not every six months
Participate more in social media
Hold regular, monthly “podcast” meetings where members can participate
Mail or email newsletters, bi-monthly or monthly
Find members in each state who are responsible and able to represent the organization where and when needed
Become more viable by increasing dues. $5 per year is ridiculous….individual clubs charge more
Stop being a social club and start acting like a professional organization
Reach out to those clubs not currently members and give them a reason to join
At my age I shouldn’t give a damn about any of this, but I reserve the right to have a vested interest in the FMDAC. I remember it’s infancy and all that it entailed. I remember too all the hard-working individuals that gave so much to make it successful, and who did so without all the technological advancements available today.
I remember officers, delegates and members traveling hundred of miles to attend monthly meetings, and to represent the FMDAC, at events, city council meetings, congressional meetings in Washington, often taking time off work without remuneration.
FMDAC delegates, monthly meeting 1987….what a great group!
I remember the FMDAC when it’s member clubs totaled over 120, and I remember when the FMDAC had the verbal, moral and financial support of every single manufacturer, and there were many.
So if you think I am overly critical of what is going on today, you would be right. There’s absolutely no excuse for the lackadaisical attitude that prevails. Finally, to answer the emails I know I will receive…. I am not the least bit interested in getting involved in any of these groups. I have been there, done that, and I am way too old for it anymore. I do however reserve the right to criticize them when needed. I’ve earned that right!